Sunday, November 12, 2017 was a day to remember. The renowned Chinese brush artist and author Nan Rae, hosted a “Shattered Peacock” book signing at her glorious art studio in Burbank, CA. By 2:15, the studio was already full. Nan provided croissant sandwiches from the house of delicious things, Porto’s Bakery, and Amy of Le Jardin Prive created three spectacular floral arrangements, complete with peacock feathers. The studio was saturated with creativity, and the guests felt it.
Nan gave an introduction, saying too many nice things about me, after which I spoke about the themes contained with “Peacock’s” plot. It’s difficult to to speak about the 1979 violent overthrow of Shah Pahlavi without reaching back into Iran’s uniquely rich history for context, so I included a thumbnail description of King Cyrus the Great, who was King of the World before dying in battle in 530 B.C. This man was as ethical as he was brilliant in military strategy. He’s mentioned 23 times in the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) for liberating the Jews from Babylonia. He’s also known for his belief in human rights, stated clearly in cuneiform on what we call the Cyrus Cylinder, which was written during his lifetime. I was lucky enough to see it at the Getty Villa some years ago.
A highlight of the day occurred when three attendees stood and recounted their experiences during the Islamic Revolution. Even though I’d spoken with various refugees during the research phase of writing the book, hearing their stories was heartbreaking.
The day was a resounding success, and I’m forever indebted to Nan, Amy and Nikka. Many thanks to all those who bought books, not only for themselves, but for others!